tv Morning Meeting MSNBC December 8, 2009 9:00am-11:00am EST
>> i learned last night levi johnston drew a line in the sand with pat. fighting words, pat buchanan. >> if it's way too early, what time is it? >> it's "morning joe." now it's time for the "morning meeting." good morning, my name is dylan ratigan. this is the "morning meeting." on our agenda at this hour, breaking news in the tiger woods drama. a woman rushed from his home in the middle of the night to the hospital. this overnight last night. this as reports that swirl that his car accident was actually an overdose and that his wife has moved out of their home. some of it salacious, some of it tragic, some of it a tale for our time. also, one in ten americans, speaking of a tale for our time, unemployed. millions more have simply stopped looking and now the president wants to use bank bailout money to spur job growth and help small businesses. but what about making it so that banks actually have to lend money to be a bank? i know that sounds crazy.
and now the battle begins in the senate. a raucous one, in fact, over abortion, goes late into the night last night. is this a moral debate or a political maneuver by those who resist health reform and this is the bullet they're going to try to use to kill it? and breaking news out of iraq and pakistan once again. and this not the kind of news any of us want to see or receive. more than 100 dead after a series of blasts, some in baghdad, some in pakistan. that as defense chief robert gates lands in afghanistan. the man in charge of our strategy there getting ready to face lawmakers on capitol hill here in d.c. it is 9:00 a.m. and a busy one at that. pull up a chair and join the "morning meeting." all right. to our panel we go this morning. we begin here in new york. nbc news chief medical editor, dr. nancy snyderman on set with us. also with us on set down in
d.c., lynn sweet, also column for politicsdaily.com. and our political director, chuck todd at the white house, who sat with the treasury secretary late yesterday afternoon and mick at the pentagon. we begin with the tiger woods saga. a woman rushed from tiger woods last night, 2:00 in the morning, with what was thought to be a serious medical condition. we're working to confirm who the individual was. again, this the videotape that was shot of the victim being taken into a nearby hospital. dr. nans jcy snyderman, impossi to evaluate who or any of the details of a situation like that. i guess what people will wonder is can stress, because obviously there's a lot of stress in that household, actually lead somebody to have to be hospitalized. >> well, sure, stress can play a role. local news has identified her as a mid-50s woman. beyond that, we don't know who she is. but there have been a couple of things. when it said patient logged,
patient refused, patient on life-support, those are individual logs, like 911 calls. so if you hear that, it's errant to think it's all one person. probably one call was a person refused treatment. another person was a person on life-support. and when you see a mask on someone like this, it may be nothing more than oxygen, which is just sort of a routine thing for paramedics to do. >> plenty of stress to cause one to feel the need to go to the hospital, one would think, in that household. jacob, have you ever seen a brand of any kind diminish as quickly or take as many hits as the tiger woods brand has taken over the past 11 days? >> i've been forced to revive my opinion that tiger woods was dull. in fact, that sort of gave new respect for it. although there's a very good column that eugene robinson has in "the post" today that tiger woods clearly has a type of women that he likes and it's barbie. actually, his taste in women is not very interesting, so he may be dull after all. >> even when he's a philandering, interesting -- if you want to call that -- interesting wild man, it's still boring.
dr. nancy's like, it's a good thing this show is -- boring, indeed. >> i think the things that we still have to see get developed from this is something you alluded to in the headlines, whether this was a dui, whether alcohol or drugs played a factor. >> thank you very much, doc. president obama, meanwhile, appears poised to throw more money at the jobs crisis. the president going to give what's expected to be a major economic speech later this morning at the brookings institution. we are learning he is going to propose to use $200 billion in leftover t.a.r.p. money to help create jobs. how, exactly, that works is unclear. but he says he'll try to target it at struggling small businesses. treasury secretary tim geithner in an interview with chuck todd yesterday afternoon agreed with the president's plan, but neither has specifically addressed how the white house can force the bailed out banks to begin lending again. >> housing is still a challenge.
small business is a challenge. we want to make sure we preserve some of the capacity to continue to help in those core areas. >> now, the question, of course, is as long as you can make money by running either an insurance scam or a trading operation with other people's money, remember, banks don't have their money. they've got your money. it's a very big difference between them and everybody else. but, again, they're incentiveized to use your money and trade it and make a small fortune when they can't make but a penny lending it, so why would they, chuck todd? >> reporter: well, i think that's where the administration has been hesitant to somehow figure out a way to force banks. right, they have this fear of looking like it's government lording over the banks, saying, you must lend this money or else. at the same time, they're sitting there, trying to figure out how to create market incentives to get these guys to lend money. >> and at the same time, the banks -- sorry to interrupt you, but at the same time, chuck, the banks lord over washington, d.c., and say, give us the money or else, no strings attached.
it's fun the banks can lord over d.c. and demand trillions, but d.c. is terrified to lord over the banks for those trillions. >> reporter: and all they've done is have made rules that incentivize the banks to pay back the t.a.r.p. money. and while one could argue that's good news for taxpayers, the question is, did t.a.r.p. -- one of t.a.r.p.'s goals was supposed to unfreeze the credit markets. and frankly, here we are, a year later, and the president is still trying to figure out how to unfreeze the credit markets, at least for small businesses. >> as long as people who can use other people's money to make mad profits without having to invest it or lend it or risk it, why would you do anything else? if i can take all of your money and trade it over here and stick you with the bill, that's all i'm going to do. anyway, the senate could vote today on an abortion bill that could be set up to derail health care altogether. democratic senator ben nelson introducing the bill on monday.
it immediately got sharp critics, especially women. he said without the amendment, he's not going to back the health care bill. prior to the abortion amendment, senator nelson was not in favor of the health care reform bill to begin with. this was his opportunity, right? the amendment would prevent insurance companies that get any federal dollars from offering abortion services and no individual that gets federal assistance could buy such a plan, even if you sold a private insurance plan on a publicly funded exchange, they couldn't offer elective abortion. it's comical. it's just opportunity -- it's also tragic. female senators say it adds up to health care with a much higher cost, a woman's respect. take a listen. >> what an insulting, humiliating thing to say, if you want an abortion, go buy a rider. i think it demonizes women. why don't you just go into the workplace and paint a scarlet letter on your head. >> this amendment would be the biggest rowback to a woman's
right to choose in decades. we didn't ask for this fight, madame president. we didn't plan for this fight. we don't want this fight. >> lynn sweet, is this merely an opportunity for people who didn't like the health debate to begin with, is this the avenue to kill it? you know if you listen to the rhetoric, they don't think they can get this bill through the senate. >> well, it's a back door, and i think the bill will advance -- if need be, the bill will advance with these measures that the female senators and many other people think is onerous, just to get the bill into the position for the final conference where the real deal will be cut. i can't pretend to know what it will be, this abortion provision is a big issue, but it's in the house bill. it could disappear in the final version, but then that would be in the trade for something else. one thing to watch, by the way, in the jobs discussion you have, watch for the administration to move on something that could directly employ people. but the abortion debate, dylan,
is being kicked down the road for now until somebody figures out the right balance of the getting this done. if you take the public option out, a by-product would be you wouldn't have a lot of these abortion questions. >> although, they're using the exchange in this case, which would allow more competition, et cetera. anyway, quick thoughts, jake? >> opponents are trying to put in place bills, but this is settled business. the principle we have is the government doesn't pay for abortions but doesn't boycott institutions that do, like the republican national committee, which recently covered abortion in the health care plan for its employees. >> didn't the republican national committee only take its coverage of elective abortion out after that was pointed out by the media that they were doing that? >> exactly. this is very common. and you can haven't a health care bill that has a secondary boycott of everybody who provides abortion coverage. >> dr. nancy, i totally understand the abortion debate, i find it insulting, the decision to take the abortion debate and try to squeeze it into the middle of this when there's so many other things. >> this is such a divisive issue
in society. we're not going to talk each other over to our sides, no matter what it is. but to ask women to carry a second rider for this and to sneak it in what is a private insurance pool, but under a public option, that's the -- >> it's outrageous. it's using -- i want to move on to the war. i can't make -- it irritates me. breaking news this morning, away from that, away from our country, other countries, dozens killed in iraq overnight. more in pakistan. coordinated attacks, car bombs, going off. upwards of 100 dead. the deadliest day in baghdad in more than a month. defense secretary robert gates nearby in afghanistan this morning, where he told troops, we're in this thing to win, but what does that mean? he sat down with the "today" show's matt lauer to give a glowing review of the president's strategy. take a listen. >> in terms of lighting a fire under the afghan government to get on with recruiting the-sized forces they immediate and getting them trained and getting them into the field. i don't know a better way to do
that than what we have. >> well, in just 30 minutes, general stanley mcchrystal going to go before the house armed services committee in his first public comment since president obama announced the additional 30,000 troops. we'll be headed to that region. a brand new quinnipiac poll out this morning finds 58% of americans approve of thelaszews pentagon. what's going on? >> i think what we're going to hear from the lawmakers on capitol hill today is they're going to drill down into this strategy to try to get some of the specifics from general stan mcchrystal on why he thinks he can make this strategy succeed with the 30,000 additional forces when he originally said it would be difficult to really prosecute such a counterinsurgency, unless he had 40,000 troops. but he'll also be sitting beside ambassador carl eikenberry, who you'll remember sent cables to the white house, who said he
didn't think they should send anymore u.s. forces into afghanistan, because it would be pouring america's blood and treasure down a drain, because the afghan government is so corrupt. i think what we're going to hear from ambassador eikenberry is the explanation that, at least hamid karzai, the president of afghanistan, is saying the right thing. so i think he'll be less resistant to those troops moving into afghanistan. >> we'll do more on afghanistan later. we've got a whole stack of folks here to talk about, particularly the efforts to root out corruption in afghanistan today. we'll see whether that's a realistic thing or we should just be bribing these peoples. meanwhile, for president bush, it was a shoe thrower. well, for former vice presidential candidate sarah palin, it was a tomato. yesterday, one was thrown at her during her book tour stop at the mall of america. missed her by about ten feet, but it did hit a police officer in the face. thanks for that. homeless manag jeremy paul olso
arrested for assault and disorderly conduct. apparently he would rather throw his tomato than eat it. >> anyone can be a target for security issues. i was at the gridiron dinner where sarah palin was a guest. she was, i'd never met her, warm, funny, charming, approachable. no one who's in the public spotlight can really avoid the potential of being hurt. and this just shows what happens when you're just famous in america. sad to say, dylan, you become a target. >> had to throw a tomato at you, jake. that's not very nice. >> the homeless guy clearly didn't have a shoe to throw. >> all right. finally, we are happy to report one giant leap for space tourism this morning. virgin atlantic has unveiled its spaceship "space ship enterprise." for an 18-month wait and a cool $200,000, we'll have to wait for
that price to come down, you could be headed out of this world. would you come with me. >> absolutely. i believe in space exploration. i would prefer a seat with nasa. >> commercial for you, jake? >> the seats are even smaller than coach. >> and the ride's a little bumpier. >> i'm a spectator. >> how's the beverage service? >> floats. >> wouldn't you go, though, dylan? >> in a heartbeat. we might not come back, but i would go. much more ahead on the unraveling of tiger woods. 11 days in hell, one of the most premium brands in our country, butchered. by revelations of the brand, which happens to be a human being and that human's behavior. a woman rushed to the hospital from his home just last night, reports that his wife has moved out. police suspect he was under the influence at the time of his crash. questions about an o.d. what the heck is going on? we're back after these brief messages on the "morning meeting."
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developing right now, a woman rushed to the hospital from tiger woods' home. this happened in the overnight period. here's the video of the woman being transported to a florida hospital in the early morning hours. nbc news has not confirmed the identity of this individual. jeff lenox from nbc's orlando affiliate joins us live this morning from outside the hospital. what do you know, jeff? >> reporter: well, dylan, we can confirm around 2:36 this morning, that's when that 911 call was placed from tiger woods' exclusive home located in windermere, florida. soon after that phone call came in, paramedics and an ambulance from orange county fire rescue arrived at the home and started to treat a woman at that house. if you look at the call log, it first says that a patient went ahead and refused service.
then later it says the patient was transported to health central hospital here in acoa, florida. this is video of the ambulance rushing to the hospital. and then paramedics rushed that woman, who is middle age eaged the hospital. after that ambulance arrived, a newer model cadillac escalade arrived here at the hospital. and some of my affiliates are reporting that elin woods was inside that cadillac escalade and then an hour or so later that escalade sped off. who could this be? who's this woman that is in the hospital here this morning? there is some speculation that it could possibly be elin woods' mother. we'll keep you posted throughout the day. >> jeff gardere, carolyn schaffer from "us weekly," dr. nancy still with us. a situation like this could do a lot to a person's night.
could it put you on a stretcher and send you to the hospital? >> of course. it could cause an anxiety attack, but at the end of the day, we know there's a tremendous amount of stress in that home, not just on tiger, but everyone who's involved? >> have you seen this, dr. nancy? you work in the hospital. do you get patients coming in, some percentage of whom are suffering -- >> stress can do anything from be a precipitating factor for a stroke or a heart attack and can also make you hyperventilate and masquerade as a lot of issues. >> no one feeling more stress in this, i would argue, than tiger woods' wife. >> absolutely. >> whether she's on the stretcher or not, we know she's in the car leaving, there's rumors she's buying real estate. this woman, i presume, would want to get as far away from this as possible. >> she has got under the most
hue m humiliating week of her life. >> there's talks she's buying a house in sweden. do we have any indication as to whether she's going to actually make that move? is that contingent -- do you know? >> "us weekly" can report that she has bought a home in sweden and the deal was done in december. december 2nd. >> adult parents sometimes have more stress than their adult kids, because you ache for them. so for a 50-some-year-old mom to be in more stress than a daughter who's in the midst of a storm would not be implausible at all. >> and "us weekly" spoke to both of her parents and her mother has come here. >> her mother is a politician? >> in sweden, yes. and she cleared her schedule to come here this week. >> which means there's a lot of shame going on, but the bottom line is, don't make these decisions when you're in the middle of a crisis. we know that's when the worst decisions are made. i think they need to sit tight,
sort this out, figure out what needs to be done and then you make your decisions going forward. >> i have to wrap this, but when there's this level of shame on the family, on her as the wife, on the family in sweden, and quite honestly on tiger woods and his associates, best way to even begin to navigate your way through that. don't you have to come out and tell the truth and say, here's what's going on. >> best way, hunker down, get together with family, and have someone come out, if not you, to talk about the stress that you're going through and what you feel you need to do in order to get through this. >> listen. thanks to the three of you. straight ahead here on the "morning meeting," time for a reality check. isn't it always? the big bosses at aig threatening to resign, my goodness. if the white house pay czar slashes their blackmail pay. we have some thoughts on that when we come back.
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of check out of u.s. pay czar ben feinberg's salary cuts. they're threatening to cut en masse, in fact. a couple of quotes from new york magazine. one executive at aig says, "the people are angry about the arsonists, it is not a good idea to go out and shoot the firemen." funny they should mention firemen. you know what a fireman actually makes, about $45,000, one to four years of experience required to get that salary. now guess what the top 25 aig executives get, $500,000 a year in cash and that's after the salary-slashing moves. an interesting picture developing here. if you look, $500,000 for an aig executive, $400,000 if you're the president of the united states, $50,000, your average public school teacher salary, $40,000 for the firemen of the world, they could use a raise. and what about the enlisted
soldiers, i know it's only risks your life in a foreign country, and getting killed, $19,000 in you're a private in the army. that goes a long way back here in home as you send the same soldier five, six times into war. reality check, remind all of us what aig executives have to complain about? forget the firefighters. maybe they'd mean they'd right turn get the going rate for an arsonist or a blackmailer. oh, hang on a second, they have that. again going back to chuck todd, why it is that the banks can lord over for blackmail money to support their financial speculation with our country's credit rating, but when we give our country's money to the banks, they use it to perpetuate more financial speculation. who's running the joint? anyway, coming up next here on the "morning meeting," the top general in afghanistan prepares for battle on capitol hill. general mcchrystal minutes away from testifying in congress while defense secretary robert gates arrives in afghanistan.
what will we hear from mcchrystal and will troops make any difference in afghanistan if it doesn't clean up its act and if we don't change our diplomatic course. and do we understand the relationship between afghanistan and pakistan? and if all it took was bullets, wouldn't we have won this were some six, seven, eight years ago? plus, a new move to make sure the banks can never again use too big to fail to blackmail american taxpayers. congressman maurice henchy joining the "morning meeting" to talk about his agenda. the bill is called too big to fail, too big to exist. you could start with city grown-up. we're back after this. where it's weak. where it's vulnerable. ♪ tylenol arthritis works with your body to block the pain, without interfering with certain high blood pressure medicines like aleve sometimes can. ♪ so you don't just feel better,
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all right. defense secretary robert gates is in kabul this morning. his first order of business, meet with the afghan president, hamid karzai. u.s. and afghan officials watching to see if karzai will live up to his promise of cleaning up corruption and bribery in the narco state he manages semi well. that goes to the top level of that government. we know the stories of the heroin deal, bribing. karzai's efforts to begin supposedly this weekend when he's expected to submit a new cabinet. not the old cabinet. and his department says 16,000 soldiers and marines will be the first wave of the surge. back on capitol hill, general stanley mcchrystal and
ambassador eikenberry will get questions on whether they think the surge can work. that hearing starting right now. both have expressed skepticism. eikenberry says the karzai government can't be trusted, between the bribing and the corruption, it's a fool's errand. a new poll shows strong public support for the surge. 58% back the president's afghan strategy. just 37% oppose it. and joining us now, army lieutenant colonel tony schaffer. an intelligence expert with the center for defense studies, also has served two defense terms in afghanistan. fred kaplan writes a column, war stories for slate.com. for all we know, he could get fired today if he says something too offensive. also with us, lynn sweet, washington bureau chief for the sun-times. ken, is there anything karzai could reasonably do to convince anybody that he could make this government function in a way that's not corrupt? >> it's a rough, rough road for him to do that.
there's no incentives. one of the things i've learned over the 25 years i've work eed intelligence, unless you build an incentive in, i think simply chiding him, telling him to do better is not going to do any good, especially now that we're planning around him. one of the things the president said in his speech the other day is that we're going to bypass him and go right down to the village level to do aid. frankly, how would that make anyone feel if you're going to bypass the very power center that's supposed to be the one that manages this. i don't see a good road for that. >> i want to play a comment made by thomas friedman over the weekend, played by cnn, which certainly put a very strong framing on the u.s. involvement in afghanistan and the context of our own economic health care, all the issues that we have domestically. take a listen to mr. friedman over the weekend. >> we're talking about afghanistan. and we're talking about america in the middle of the great recession. i feel like we're lake an unemployed couple who just went out and decided to adopt a
special needs baby. you know, that's really kind of what we're doing. and that's like, wow, you know, that terrifies me. >> should we be terrified? >> yeah. i think we should be very -- >> why? what's the scariest thing for this country? >> the scariest thing in terms of afghanistan, we have really never fought this kind of war before. we're not very good at it. it's a very hard kind of war to fight to begin with. you read the counterinsurgency and field manual that general petraeus wrote, he talks about counterinsurgency requiring a lot of patience. 8, 10, 12 years on a war like this. >> here's my concern when we talk counterinsurgency. in iraq, saddam hussein had run that country for a very long time and we removed saddam hussein militarily and then we installed ourselves and civil war and all the other things we know broke out in iraq and we thought counterinsurgency, quite simply, get out was their thing and we thought, we're not
getting out until we stabilize it. the difference that has occurred to me and has been told to me that the taliban is much more like hamas in that they have run this country before. in other words, if people were fighting in iraq never ran iraq, the taliban has the capacity to install a shadow government, judges, resolve crime, all this. and that's not an insurgency, that is a group of people in afghanistan that want to run that country and that are waiting for to us leave to do it. >> it's even a bigger difference than that. the crucial -- the turning point in iraq was when the tribal leaders of the anbar province in western iraq decided that they would rather turn to us than to al qaeda in iraq, which were foreigners. they were not native iraqis. the taliban are native afghans. >> lynn sweet, do you feel that there are so many shades and slices here, and it's so easy to compare iraq and afghanistan, or surge versus surge, or down the line, but these are obviously
phenomenally different countries, however adjacent they may be in the world, are we applying a rule book from one country to another country? >> i don't think we're doing a one size fits all here, dylan. one of the lesser known parts of president obama's speech at west point last week is something i think we ought to focus on. he said one of the main focus will be having civilians lead in afghanistan more and creating a new agriculture-based economy there. you talked about a narco state. that goes back to agriculture. so there are some -- now, no one came into iraq saying, we're going to create a new agricultural state. people were talking about big oil there, as if it were texas. you know, texas and the mideast. >> the problem with the narco state, though, is the thomas friedman problem, which is if you're dealing with a bunch of heroin dealers who make a fine living selling heroin -- >> but they're selling the agriculture product. let's go to the --
>> they're selling poppy. so you have to clear the poppy price, basically? >> that's what i'm talking about -- when they're talking about focusing on agriculture, you're creating a new economy for afghanistan, so they say, can they do it? one of the big challenges is getting civilians there to do the job. secretary of state clinton testified before congress this week about how hard it was to get the civilian contractor workforce to be doing what -- anything worth the money we're spending on them. >> jake, go ahead. >> when you read about obama's decision-making process, on the one hand, it was very reassuring. he got deeply into it. it was a very rationale explanation. he rejected in all-in option, rejected the all-out option. >> did he look at the vectors, the chicken and an egg -- >> he integrated pakistan. it was an intelligent process and i think where he came down was pretty much the only place he could have come down. the problem is that the taliban feeds off our lack of resolve. the reality is, we're not sure. it's a close decision.
we think this gives us a good shot, but it might not work. the problem is, if we communicate that, it undermines our strategy. so there's this paradox that we have to believe that this is certain to work, we're in there to stay. we will crush the taliban at all costs, when the reality is, it's weighed against other costs and there is the guns and butter trade-off that thomas friedman was talking about and this is a shot. >> all right. this conversation stays with us whether we like it or not. thank you all for the conversation this morning. key votes, meanwhile, coming up in the days ahead on financial reform. reform designed to prevent the very abuses that led to the collapse of the housing and credit markets and the false enrichment of bank ceos over the past ten years who, in my opinion, ought to be subjected to a windfall profits tax in short order. we'll deal with that another day. a final house vote. will our politicians actually come in and protect our tax base, our sovereign credit from financial speculators who would seek to use to it enrich themselves? our next guest wants to make sure taxpayers are never again blackmailed into giving
trillions to prop up those who would speculate with our money. congressman maurice hinchey, democrat from new york, has just announced his plans to introduce an amendment to reinstate the law that was changed some ten years ago, glass-steagall, depression era piece of legislation that kept commercial and investment banking separate until its repeal a decade ago. congressman, why is this so important? >> well, dylan, thanks very much. and by the way, i very much appreciated listening to your last conversation on afghanistan. i just came back from there about a week. it's an interesting situation. >> well, you have a quick thought on that? >> well, yeah. i think the circumstances there really need to be dealt with, because we don't want the taliban and al qaeda to overturn the situation there and take control of that government and put us and a lot of other people in jeopardy once again. >> i think a lot of people agree to that. i think there seems to be some ambiguity as to what the best how is on that. did you get any insight on how, meaning diplomacy, information, economic -- in other words, other aspects beyond the
military that you think could be directly relevant to achieving that goal? >> well, i think all of the things that you just said are very important. and all of those things need to be put into play in order to achieve that goal. you have to stabilize that country. and to stabilize that country, you have to stabilize the economy and work effectively with the government there. and of course, that has been ignored over the previous eight years. completely ignored. >> yeah, no, we get it. unfortunately, we get it. let us discuss, in brief, the piece of legislation you're bringing out. too big to fail, too big to exist. the highlights, wheny, when, where, how? what have you got? >> dylan, we're facing one of the most serious economic circumstances we've dealt with since the great depression. and it's something that we have to deal with. and a lot of that circumstance that we're dealing with has to do with the manipulation of investment. and that manipulation of investment, to a large extent, was committed in the context of the joining together of commercial and investment banks. commercial and investment banks were wisely separated back in
1933. and because of that separation, the economic circumstances of this country were fairly stabilized -- >> but, hang on a second. what about the argument, what about the argument that is made that we can create a more efficient financial structure if we allow lending by investment banks using the deposits of others, whether it's in insurance companies or commercial banks, because then i can put more people in houses, i can create cheaper food for more people by insuring commodities against those balance sheets, i can create cheaper energy if i simply get rid of that and i allow that to happen, if you don't mind a few odd trillion every couple of years. >> that's right. if you look at the experience, all the opposite of that just happened. so many people lost their mortgages. so much of the -- so much of the prices have gone up. so many people are struggling to get the right kind of food that they need. the whole economic circumstances in this country has been deteriorated. and a lot of that concentration of the wealth in the hands of a few people has just gone up. gone up as high as it was back in 1928 and 29.
you have about the same amount of economy in the hands of 1% of the population that you had back in 1928 and '29. >> but if the political structure allows me as a banker to pursue financial speculation as my profit motive, but use sovereign credit, a national credit as my backstop, so i'm gambling implicitty because i'm too big to fail and i'm paying myself, i'm really not making money, am i, sir? >> well, you're gambling, and you're right, you're not doing the right thing for the people that you have invested in you. so the commercial banks, banks that are housing mortgages, feed to be stable and strong. the investment banks need to engage in different ways. but the combination of the two is very, very difficult and dangerous. and we saw that danger. we saw that danger beginning with the way in which the federal reserve began to weaken that banking act which was put into play in 1933. they began to weaken that throughout the decades of the
'90s. then, of course, that banking act, so-called glass-steagall agent was repealed. >> with bank lobbyists outnumbering consumer lobbyists 25-1, it's no wonder they've got easy access to the treasury. the last question i have for you is, is there any debate as of yet on deploying a windfall profits tax to recapture the ceo compensation paid over the past ten years and to capture all the compensation paid out this year as a result of the windfall state support provided to these banks? we all know they didn't make the money. we all know that they were given windfall state support and we all know they're making money and made money using false circumstances. why wouldn't there be a windfall profits tax? >> well, there should be. and there should be a further investigation into the way in which this whole operation occurred. and that investigation is necessary to try to ensure that that same kind of circumstances do not happen again. if they do happen again, we're going to face another serious decline in this economy. >> yeah. i think it would be hard for the american government to win the confidence of the american people if they don't correct the
whole thing, including getting the money back that was stolen. you have the mechanism to do it with the windfall profits, right? >> exactly. and when you put the word "stolen" in, that's absolutely right. that money was stolen because it was engaged in an operation that they knew was false, they knew it was going to get money from them, and they knew it was going to take money and security away from a whole host of people. and we saw that occur. we saw it occur in many ways in the mortgages a lot of people lost. >> representative hinchey, thank you so much for giving us your time and your effort. we obviously have great support for what you're doing here. we agree with you. lots more coming up, quite simply, here. green peace activists going nuts. like this is new. anyway, a few study claiming that global warming itself, my friends, could actually drive you nuts. climate change. not so much of a global problem, but a mental problem. "trend or talker" after this. some pharmacists only dispense prescriptions.
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all right. time for a little "trend or talker?" that led to the ongoing copenhagen summit, we're asking you the following question. people going off the deep end may in fact be the latest sign of climate change. maybe that was tiger's problem, the climate change was affecting his behavior -- no? our panelists attacking this one. lynn sweets and jake. psychologists in london say climate change could make you nuts. according to a study it could provoke mental disorders like ptsd and depression and increased flooding could force people to move away from home resulting in anxiety, displacement. you laugh? >> the end of civilization could cause a lot of stress, but shouldn't we just worry about the end of civilization first and then worry about the stress
later if we have to? >> if the civilization will end, it will be nice to have it in a low-stress way. no? >> you can see how people would get worked up about that. next, a photo spread on "the globe" website show cases the extreme, and dare we say, crazy tactics greenpeace protesters have been using to get their message out. scaling a parliament building in ottawa to unfurl a massive banner reading "climate in action costs lives." meanwhile, in normandy, a greenpeace protester, it's just fun to say normandy, a protester handcuffed himself to a rail trying to stop a train of uranium waste from being loaded ton to a slip. and activists arrested an ice sculpture of silvio berlusconi. they timed it as the statue would melt away just as the climate summit got under way. a puddle with a purpose or just
straight nuts, lynn? >> oh, i don't know. of course it has a purpose, you why wouldn't people have anxiety if all those terrible things happened with climate change. do you really need a survey to let people know they would be full of anxiety and stress if natural disaster hit them? >> yes, you do. >> i thought you could figure that out without a survey. >> you don't think we need a big study to determine whether natural disasters find stress? does the threat of natural disaster cause poetry? finally, vice president and nobel laureate and, yes, be now poet, in his new book "our choice" climate crusader al gore, ends with 21 lines of verse, beautiful, evocative and, yes, disturbing. can i do a reading for us? >> please. >> here we go. ready? one thin september soon a floating continent
disappears in midnight sun vapors rise as fever settles on an acid sea. ouch. already won an oscar for film. anything -- could you give him a writing award? you are known for your literary celebrations. >> it's not really a laughing matter. al gore is a hero on the issue but i would rather be tear gassed than read his poetry. >> people are going crazy, a sign of the times or does it have anything to do with climate change or these unrelated issues, lynn? >> it has to do with climate change, very much in the air right now. and so that can drive people crazy and, jacob, i've been tear gassed back in the day, in the late -- sometimes, and reading poetry is better than being tear gassed. >> you haven't read the whole book, lynn. >> all right. thank you both. still ahead, the big waves of hawaii and what do they have to do with getting our country back running on all cylinders and moving forward. (woman) dear cat.
all right, we wrap up "the morning meeting" with video from hawaii where the winter waves are in and the surf is up. today is supposed to be the biggest water they've had maybe ever. 50-foot waves, thousands of people flocking to hawaii's beaches to see and surf the biggest waves certainly in years. some of the world's most daring surfers, in fact, taking on powerful and dangerous waves which forecasters say could reach, as i mentioned, heights of 50 feet. and just like the best surf eer are brought in to tackle the big waves in hawaii, it's time that the best and the brightest in our country get in the water to tackle some of the biggest challenges our country has seen in decades if not centuries and how all of us fix the broken systems that hold too many americans hostage. i hope you have a wonderful day. enjoy the pictures of the waves. and that wraps things up for
today's "morning meeting." contessa picks up. >> the latest on tiger woods. a live report at the top of the hour. who is the woman taken from his home to the hospital? defense chief robert gates touches down in afghanistan, while the top general in afghanistan testifies on capitol hill. will their strategy shift in afghanistan be undermined by fresh violence elsewhere? and when millions of people weren't able to get the swine flu vaccine, guess who was getting it? corporations, oil companies, even defense contractors. we'll have those stories and much more next. essential nutrients? not long. in fact, green beans lose half their vitamin c in a week. that's why green giant freezes them within 8 hours to lock in nutrients. ho ho ho green giant
have a delicious meal at home once a month and save over $385 a year. save money. live better. walmart. developing right now on msnbc possibly more problems for tiger woods. a woman rushed from his home to the hospital. this morning a live report from florida just ahead. plus, jobs, be jobs, jobs. president obama will highlight his plan today for putting
millions of americans back to work. white house officials admit it's not a silver bullet idea. also, the big secrets tsa officials find out in training now exposed in public. and what it could reveal could create big security problems for airport screeners. good tuesday morning, everyone. i'm contessa brewer. big hour ahead on msnbc. i'm glad to have you along. a new twist in the tiger woods saga and big questions about the woman who was taken from his home to the hospital this morning. paramedics got to the house about 2:30 and the video seems to show a light haired woman on a gurney. the shot, far away, it's difficult to identify who this is, but certainly this is a household under extreme pressure. now seven women have been identified as tiger woods' lovers. kristen dahlgren is at the health central hospital in central florida. what are you learning about the person who went from the woods home to the hospital? >> reporter: con it tetessacont
still trying to get confirmation on who the woman was. this is the hospital where tiger woods was brought to after the infamous morning crash. paramedics responded. we're told they were transported here, don't know who she was or what she does. she initially refused transportation and then later was given advanced life support as she was brought here, so we're trying to work with the hospital to find out exactly who she was and what condition she is in now. there have been some reports on celebrity websites that tiger's wife, her mother arrived in the u.s. at some point this week so we're still trying to get confirmation on whether her mother may have been involved. a woman mafg elin nordegren's description arrived. she was driving a black escalade
whose license plate was one off that of the vehicle tiger woods crashed. we don't have confirmation that it was elin nordegren. >> and we know this is one more problem for tiger woods. yesterday there were state investigators who said they were looking into the possibility that tiger woods was under the influence of another substance when he crashed that car. anything new? >> reporter: no. that's according to florida highway patrol asking the state attorney's office in writing to get medical records from the hospital here for tiger woods' blood work. their reasoning for that, they said that a witness had told them tiger woods had been drinking earlier in the day before the accident. that same witness also told them he was taking ambien and vicoden. we do know elin told police she
was the one that got him out of the car so they tried to get a subpoena to get that blood work. they were denied, the state attorney's office, saying there wasn't enough evidence to issue a subpoena. in little more than an hour president obama will outline his plan to get americans back to work. he is unveiling proposals to tackle what may be his greatest political challenge in the country's double digit unemployment rate. chuck ed todd is nbc's correspondent. how many specifics are we likely to get? >> reporter: preview wise we haven't gotten a lot of specifics. they're doing background information briefings as we speak. the president will speak in about an hour and a half. it's going to target three areas, figuring out a way to goose small lending to small businesses. that would be a way to use the t.a.r.p. money, the bailout money for wall street firms. the second to create incentives for homeowners to weatherize, as
a way not quite like cash for clunkers but think of it that way as sort of a figuring out rebates in order to boost more people doing that and then speeding up some of the stimulus and increasing the amount of infrastructure programs that are out there that the government is funding, you know, whether it's repairing bridges or building roads, et cetera. so those are the three ways, the levers, the first levers that the white house says can be used to try to stimulate job creation but it's tough and they're really sort of dialing back expectations. you keep hearing the same phrase over and over again from these guys which is there's no silver bullet. if there was, somebody would have figured it out by now. >> and of course those are some of the same things they wanted to achieve with the stimulus package. >> reporter: correct. >> say you tried to do it already so what's new? we'll keep our eye on that. chuck, thanks a lot. keep it here on msnbc. you can see the president's speech later on this morning, 11:25. about an hour and a half from
now. this morning house lawmakers are grilling two men instrumental in implementing the president's plan for afghanistan. top commander general stanley mcchrystal and u.s. ambassador eikenberry are testifying as we speak. mcchrystal says victory is achievable. a new quinnipiac poll shows 58% say they do support the president's surge strategy. defense secretary robert gates is in kabul this morning where he met with president hamid karzai. he told matt lauer that karzai is the key to the new surge. >> in terms of lighting a fire under the afghan government to get on with recruiting the size forces they need and getting trained, getting them into the field, i don't know a better way to do that than what we have. >> nbc be's jim maceda is there now. how many optimism is there from
our afghan counterparts about 30,000 new troops coming into afghanistan? >> reporter: well, afghan counterparts, if you're referring to the government or to afghan soldiers, they're very upbeat about it. they're excited about it. karzai wants to see this kind of move to create a kind of quick, hard, tactical surge that could slow down and turn around the momentum that we have seen over the last number of months and, in fact, two years really, the taliban take more and more. gates' message today to karzai was really twofold. on the one hand he said, look, we're not going to cut and run. we learned our lesson from 1989 and from the soviet days and how we left afghanistan on its own. we will support you until you are in a position to take over the fight. but the flip side of that is you don't have forever.
this is not an open-ended commitment. and that july 2011 date is not a deadline. what it is, it is more of a benchmark to mark the beginning of a transition to afghan control. karzai was interesting what he said at the press conference after their meeting. he said that he repeated a claim that his forces will be ready within five years to take the le lead. he also said it would take 15 to 20 years for afghans itself to pay for that kind of force. the suggestion is the united states could be paying for the war in afghanistan for many years to come. >> yeah, just at a time when the deficits are becoming higher profile certainly in the nation's mind. breaking news coming to us right now. nbc's team in pakistan is reporting a bomb blast near peshawar targeting an official's car on a bridge and a team of militants attacked an intelligence office in central pakistan this morning killing at
least seven. 47 more injured as a car bomb and grenades are used to level the office of pakistan's main security agency. pakistan is facing relentless attacks from insurgents who saw a taxi that took dozens of lives. in iraq at least 118 people killed after a series of car bombs ripped through southern baghdad. multiple car bombs were used in the attacks which wounded hundreds, according to eiraq's interior ministry. among the targets the labor ministry, a court complex, and a police patrol. this decade is likely the warmest on record. that's according to the climate change summit coming out this morning and we know that the -- at this point it looks as though they say 2009 could end as one of the fifth warmest on record. back here at home we're looking at winter weather coming to us across the mid states, blizzards that are just slamming michigan,
minnesota, wisconsin. look at some of the icy roads here. and you can see this is a system that is leaving some deadly crashes along its way and growing in intensity and heading west. we'll have a live report on the weather in just a few moments. the hot holiday toy of the season now back on parents' shopping list. the consumer products safety commission says the popular zhu zhu pets, the hampster toy there, is safe. it complies with u.s. toy standards. a watchdog group says it tested toys and found dangerous levels of tin and a cancer causing chemical called antimony. who put confidential training manuals on line with details the tsa wanted kept secret. sarah palin pretty good at dodging attacks. it's one thing to dodge words, another to dodge -- oh, i know you want to know what she had to dodge. join me after the break. goi
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the transportation security administration is scrambling to explain how a top secret training manual was published on line in a way that allows hackers to access sensitive information. it includes a photo of a cia credential so anybody who would like to impersonate a cia agent actually could get a heads-up on copying this id. tom costello covers the aviation industry. is that really the main concern about this being leaked? >> reporter: absolutely. this is not the way the government is supposed to work. here is the manual right now. it is dated 2008. it is a copy of the tsa's training manual and really it contains information they don't want made public. we're not going to tell you exactly what all that information is. it contains information like this, how to calibrate the walk-through metal detectors in
96 different steps, how high-ranking a foreign dignitary must be to pass through security without a screening, what a diplomatic pouch looks like, what a cia credential looks like and which country's passports are likely to draw an automatic extra screen. this is dated june 2008 and they say the manual has been revised six times since then and much of what's in here is dated. clearly this is not what the tsa wants to be pursuing and does not want this kind of information out there. the concern is that if somebody grabbed this information before the tsa pulled it down, then some security issues maybe have been compromised. >> if they're making this manual available to all tsa screeners, if it's the kind of training manual that everybody you see when you go through screening at the airport is looking at, how confidential can it really be? >> reporter: that's a very good point. we've all seen some very good tsa screeners and some you have
questions about exactly how good they might be. presumably if you are in this type of a role, you have to sign a confidentiality agreement but clearly that is an issue and probably one of the many reasons why over the course of the past 18 months or so they have already upgrade this had manual a number of times. listen, the tsa makes the following point, that the total layer of security for aviation is what they call a curve to cockpit approach. from the moment you pull your car out until you get to the cockp cockpit, layers of security, items we see and agents we see and agents we don't see and dogs and screening behind the scenes. clearly this is not supposed to be out. by the way, you will not find this on our website. >> well, that's kind of keeping secrets secret. tom, thanks. let's take a look at big business headlines. the pay czar won't lift a salary cap for some executives at aig despite reports to the contrary. at least five employees are
threat threatening to quit because of those pay limits. feinberg may announce new pay limits for 75 execs next week. citigroup and wells fargo want to pay back billions of dollars in bailout money. according to the associated press, they are trying to figure out how much capital they need to raise to repay the money. citigroup received a $45 billion bailout, now 34% owned by the government. wells fargo got $25 billion. a credit agency predicts more people will pay their credit card bills on time next year. transunion says by the end of next year it expects 90-day delinquencies to drop to 1.04%. right now the rate is 1.1%, so not much of a decline but the credit agency warned there won't be any dramatic improvements until more americans are back at work. we're seeing a down day across the board. the dow down triple digits, just 45 minutes or so into the trading day. s&p down ten, nasdaq down 18. we will keep a close eye on wall
street. it looks like we're in for a bumpy ride. sarah palin's book tour brings her to montana and colorado today but she might want to bring a salad bowl with her. the former alaska governor was at a book signing at the mall of america in minneapolis yesterday. there she was. and she came under attack. a man launched a tomato at her from the second level all the way across the rotunda. unfortunately, folks, i hate to tell you this, the video cameras did not capture neither the launcher nor the actual tomato launch. jeremy paul olsen, a man with no permanent address, charged with fourth degree assault and disorderly conduct. tomato counts as fourth degree. coming up on msnbc, is there a new option for the public option? senate democrats could be close to reaching a deal on a government-run insurance plan. plus the four-letter word, lesson plan. parents are upset because the school librarian apparently was using swear words in her lesson to students.
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we're closely following a developing weather story. a large chunk of the country getting walloped by winter weather. mike seidel is in iowa so, mike, wow, it looks like a mess out there. >> reporter: well, if you think it looks like a mess now, contessa, give it six or eight hours. we have the wind that's going to ratchet up with wind gusts over 50 miles an hour, heavy snow moving in. we'll have a blizzard or near blizzard set up and whiteout conditions that will virtually shut this part of the country down. take you first out to california. they got hit by the storm first. this is auburn, california, about half an hour up i-80. higher in elevation than downtown sacramento and sacramento, by the way, we checked back. it hasn't snowed there since 1976. you can see the snow from up above there in auburn. now to the other side of the sierra. the ski resorts in the sierra,
lots of fresh powder there. some of the totals over three feet up there. reno getting 7 inches of snow. the high yesterday was only 21 degrees in reno. that's about 30 degrees colder than average. as you get out there and try to shovel the snow, at least it was a dry, powdery snow. and then down to new mexico where the snow is coming down this morning. we have blizzard warnings for parts of the mountains of new mexico into colorado. albuquerque, contessa, had thunder snow. that's thunder and lightning with snow this morning. the temperatures there are only in the 20s and the plows have been out. back here in iowa, again, be iowa, parts of illinois, parts of minnesota under a blizzard warning. 24 states are under some type of advisory, watch or warning. this is just the beginning of what's going to be a very treacherous afternoon and evening. most schools are already shut down. they've thrown in the towel and no doubt very little will be moving here tomorrow morning. once you tack in the wind it will blow the snow around.
if you're doing any flying in and out of this part of the world, you might as well throw a towel in and just don't even think about it. by the way, be chicago's right on that edge in the city we're expecting three to five inches. you get north and west and they could get upwards 10 to 12 inches. there will be issues at o'hare this morning, too, with the wind. winds will gust over 50 miles an hour in the midwest. >> all right. so, mike, i know that means you and the crew are in for a long, cold day ahead. stay work. we'll check back in with you. thanks. some stories we're following from around the world, the death toll in the russian nightclub fire stands at 117. four more people died overnight in the hospital. 120 people still in the hospital. 30 of them in critical condition. iran's top prosecutor is threatening tough action against protesters. tens of thousands marched at universities across the country yesterday in one of the biggest anti-government rallies in months. prosecutors said authorities are showing restraint. well, not anymore. iran courts have sevntenced fiv
activists to death and 80 to prison for protesting since june's disputed presidential election. at least eight students were killed and 26 others injured in a stampede at a chinese school south of beijing. the students were leaving evening study sessions. the children started falling on top of one another on the stairs. many schools? china have large classes but few emergency exits or other safety features. some eighth graders in the west, in oregon to be specific, got an earful. their school librarian started cursing in front of the students. the principal admits the librarian used profanity in a lesson about how words lose their significance when taken out of context. well, parents not really happy about the lesson. >> there was the f-word and another foul word written on the board. the teacher yelled them at the kids and then asked the kids to yell them back at him. >> i didn't believe it, to tell you the truth. it's like it had to have been exaggerate add little bit but then after talking to other parents whose children were in
those classes on monday, it was quite apparent that it was indeed an actual occurrence. >> the middle school says the students weren't actually told to repeat the curse words but is apologizing anyway for the lesson and for the profanity. in today's hotshots this woman needs two aspirin and a new purse after a subway incident in boston. this is the surveillance video. the woman desperately trying to free her purse from the doors of the train. she was forced just to let go when she slammed into a wall. look at that. a subway attendant was fired. the train operator suspended. the world's largest ice rink now open for business. this huge rink in mexico city, 200 feet by 101 feet. it holds 400 skaters at the same time. the project is funded by private donations and the best part here, it is free to the public. hey, say it ain't so, santa. pennsylvania police are looking for a guy dressed like santa claus who robbed a bank at gunpoint friday. the bearded bank robber was wearing black sweatpants -- come on, santa.
you can do better than that. a fake gray beard. the suspect ran out of the bank with an undisclosed amount of money. a lot more coming up on msnbc could there be more trouble brewing for golf great tiger woods? a woman at his home rushed to the hospital early this morning. we have the scoop. plus, remember how it was almost impossible to get your hands on the swine flu vaccine a couple months ago? apparently not so har to get if you were working for, say, disney. or another big corporation. sfx:racking of a taillight. female valve: hahahaha...i am strong like the ox. i crush you like tiny clown car. because you are... ...clown, yes? female valve: come, you hit me again and i break you. male valve: oh, you messed with wrong pipe now, car. ha, ha trust me...i have to live with her. announcer:accidents are bad. but geico's good with guaranteed repairs through auto repair express.
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with the latest developments. what are we looking at finding out who the woman was, what the problem was at the house? >> the public information officer at health central there, the hospital where that woman was admitted, has said that they're not going to make any sort of statement until they get clearance from the woods family. now we can look at that stretcher and by process of elimination you can tell that's not tiger's mother who is very petite. that's clearly not her. the speculation is that elin's mother -- that does look like her as well. i'm not sure how you identify someone as being middle aged or not. again, nobody knows for certain except for the people inside that hospital who it was and they're not making a statement until they get clearance from the woods family. >> and it depen on how you qualify middle aimed as well. >> how young or how old you are, there is that. >> it's not the only new development. we've been looking at the women coming out of the woodwork claiming they have been lovers of tiger woods, some before he was married, some while he was married, and there's also the
report out yesterday that state investigators have been exploring the possibility that tiger woods was under the influence when he crashed his vehicle. >> and i think that's really where the focus of this goes now and that does speak to the preferential treatment that's raising red flags. they've asked for samples of his blood to see if he had been using any alcohol during the day reportedly. elin woods handed over two prescription drug bottles at the time that he was taken away and then i reported yesterday that his condition was far worse than we were led to believe initially when he was admitted to the hospital. he was admitted straight to the icu and had to be intubated. there was a lot more at play than he just had facial lacerations and needed some stitches. was his condition much worse than it sounded? yes, obviously that was the case, but was there some sort of intoxication involved as well? a lot of people are questioning if this was just anybody, if this was just your random neighbor who ran his car into a tree and had to be taken to the hospital, would those tests not have been taken at the scene? is this something that happened
just because it's tiger woods? >> interesting. and then on the other hand, people argue he's actually getting more scrutiny because of who he is rather than your average everyday neighbor. >> right. i think it's worth noting, this isn't the same as being a celebrity in los angeles. the orlando area is not that rife with high-profile people. this is the hospital where his wife had their children. they know this family. and so i do think it's fair to say, okay, how did they treat this family as opposed to any other one. president obama is preparing to go to oslo to accept his nobel peace prize. a large number of americans don't believe he deserves it. 66% believe he does not deserve this prestigious award. 41% say the selection of obama for the award causes them to think less of the actual award. head of the rnc, michael steele, stepping up pressure on senator harry reid. he wants reid to apologize
comparing republican opponents of health care reform to those who resisted an end to slavery. here is harry reid. >> you think you've heard the same excuse before, you're right. in this country, belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery. there were those who dug in their heels and said slow down. it's too early. let's wait. >> it has nothing to do with the historic roots of slavery. it was an ignorant comment. harry needs to go to the well of the senate, take it back and apologize for defending the sensibilities of the american people on something so important. >> reid's spokesman says steele's remarks amount to famed outrage. they hope to reeg a compromise on the public insurance option so harry reid can introduce it as part of the senate health bill. but it may be public in name only. the latest idea would basically slap a government seal of approval on select private plans. nbc's luke russert is on capitol hill today. so, luke, what are we talking about? >> reporter: well, contessa, the developments we've learned that happened last night are as follows. the public option such as the
opt in, opt out plan harry reid proposed in the original bill for states to do that individually is now most likely dead. what we're going to see is a compromise constructed by five moderates and five liberals that allow american citizens to buy into a government health care plan similar to those that members of congress and their staffs have. this is the federal employee health benefits plan. in order for the progressives to take this deal, they negotiated with moderates that folks could opt in and buy into medicare at age 55. this is something that was howard dean's idea. apparently he called senator schumer two weeks ago to propose it and that right now is where the compromise is. we're a long way from this being over. there are foo problems that will arise from this. one, a lot of the nation's governors are hesitant about a huge massive expansion of medicare because they will be the ones that are responsible for developing the infrastructure in an individual state. number two, this is still not scored by the cbo and we know that it's all about the money up
here on capitol hill, contessa. >> all right. thanks, luke. millions of americans are drinking dirty water. more than 20% of the nation's water treatment systems violate key provisions of the safe drinking water act that requires communities to provide safe tap watttory residents. for the past five years the water provided to nearly 50 million people has contained higher than acceptable concentrations of chemicals like a arsenic, radioactive substances like uranium as well as dangerous bacteria. yeah, that's what you want in a glass of nice ice water, isn't it? we don't know how many people have actually gotten sick by drinking the dirty water. at the height of swine flu hysteria when millions of people who wanted the vaccine were told by doctors around the country, we just don't have it yet, guess who did have it? corporations, defense contractors, according to a "usa today" analysis of vaccine distribution data from three states. allison young wrote the story for today's paper and joins us
now. first thought, reaction to this article, is that it's going to strike a lot of people as highly unfair when we were being told pregnant women needed it most, children, babies, and mothers needed it first. >> absolutely. "usa today" decided to take a close look at who was getting the earliest doses of the swine flu vaccine back in october and early november when things were scarce. and what we did is we got the distribution data from texas, georgia, and florida and found that at a time when many doctors and hospitals could not get any doses of the vaccine, that the doses were going to some of the major corporations in those states. >> i don't really understand why. if you look at walt disneyworld, let's give them just, say, they're dealing with a high number of people. so are tsa screeners, so are teachers. do you know that teachers have
gone all fall dealing with those sweet little germ factories we call children without swine flu vaccines, many of them? >> yes. in the case of walt disneyworld, they received 2,200 doses of the vaccine. they say that they used it for their theme park workers of a college age group. that is one of the cdc's priority groups for vaccination and they used it to vaccinate their 100-member medical team. but the question that you raise is the one a lot of consumers have which is why if i am also in the risk group should i have to go and stand in line at a health department or really search around for the vaccine when those who are affiliated with major corporations were able to get some of the vaccine before my doctor's office. >> did you get any explanation at all about the hundred doses for defense contractor bell helicopter, 80 doses for lockheed martin, 190 for chevron, exxon mobil, 170 for
dow chemical, 110 for conoco phillips. any explanation? >> those organizations say they gave the vaccine to high-risk groups within their company. and what the health departments will say is that high-risk people who work for corporations are as deserving as those who don't. and since people are used to getting their shots at company, it was a legitimate place to send the vaccine. but the concern, again, from the public is if i don't work for one of those companies, did i have equal access to the vaccine? >> allison, it's an eye opening article. i understand that new york and california, is it, still deciding whether or not they're going to release data? >> exactly. "usa today" is going to continue to look into this issue and so stay in touch with usatoday.com and our print edition. a massive winter storm is blanketing parts of the midwest with ice and snow. nebraska, indiana have already reported several inches. iowa and minnesota residents are just bracing for what looks like
a blizzard in store. nbc meteorologist bill karins here with your weather channel forecast. all right. what are we looking at in terms of severity? >> i think the winds have been the worst so far. at one point a quarter of a million people without power in arizona. we had 70-mile-per-hour winds in phoenix and that was a record for the area. they've never had winds that strong at least in the airport the north side of town. now the storm is moving to the middle of the country and look at the windchill. denver at my minus 12. there is plenty of cold air to work with. we don't have as many maybe blizzard warnings as i thought we'd have at this point. we still could get more tonight. the only really blizzard warnings are the san juan mountains, the bottom left, and just below minneapolis around rochester, minnesota, you are under a blizzard warning. all the peach-colored area, those were winter storm warnings. the white, that's all the snow. it's already broken out, starting to get moderate to heavy. omaha will see one of the highest totals, possibly the quad cities between green bay and madison, milwaukee, also the areas of concern.
so here are the forecast totals for the storm today. 8 to 12 in omaha tonight. chicago 3 to 6. denver 3 to 6. contessa, guess what, all of this mess is ever so slowly going to head to the east coast as we go throughout tomorrow morning. new england could get hit with a significant snowstorm. >> all right. we'll keep our eye on it, bill. thank you. virgin galactic unveiled the first commercial spaceship. the top secret project was kept under wraps for two years. the ship's designed to pro-tell six passengers into space for the bargain price, hey, bill, $200,000 per ticket. >> get me two. >> are you going to sign up. >> i want two tickets. >> the 2 1/2-hour ride offers five minutes of weightlessness. are you kidding me? you can go to space camp for far less and experience weightlessness. decongestant. zyrtec-d® lets me breathe freer, so i can love the air™. (announcer) zyrtec-d®. behind the pharmacy counter.
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president obama will talk jobs, outlining a new effort to put more people back to work. a short time ago a senior administration official said the president will call for tax cuts for small businesses to encourage hiring in 2010. "washington post" white house reporter michael fletcher joins us now. michael, if you cut taxes for small businesses, does it then logically follow they go out and spend the savings on hiring new employees? >> well, not necessarily but that certainly is the white house hope. in sort of constructing this sort of jobs proposal what the white house advisers did was largely look at the stimulus plan that have been accessible and tried to enhance those elements. there are some new elements as well but when it comes to small business that's what they tried to do. look at what's working and try to put more money into that. >> when we look be at this broadly, we're expecting to hear the president talk about the incentives for small businesses, a transportation investment and green rebates.
these would be rebates to people who weatherize their homes and things like that. wasn't a lot of this included in the stimulus package? >> a lot of it was and some of it wasn't. like, for example, what they're now dubbing cash for clupgers is something new and it's really building on cash for clunkers, the auto rebate program that was such a large success. what the administration likes about the program, it incorporates the private sector and leverages private spending. the incentive to weatherize your home they hope will encourage people to reach into their pockets, put more people to work and at the same time it has the bonus of more energy efficiency for people's homes. there's a guiding principal on their larger priorities like energy efficiency and have the private sector do a lot of the hiring. >> michael, a close eye on what the president has to say here coming up. thank you for giving us a quick preview. >> my pleasure.
>> here are some other stories making headlines. there will be a memorial service this afternoon to remember the four police officers who were shot and killed at the coffee shop in washington state last week. as many as 20,000 cops are expected to attend the service. the shooting suspect was shot and killed last wednesday by a seattle police officer. top researchers say fewer people could die of colon cancer. a report by the american cancer society says overall cancer deaths have been dropping in the united states since the '90s. the owner of a chimp that mauled and blinded a woman will not be charged in the attack. connecticut state attorney says there's no evidence that sandra harold knew her pet posed a risk to other people. the 200-pound chimp went berserk in february and ripped off the woman's nose, lids. they want to sue the state for $150 million. with the record 14% of homeowners in control of mortgages, lawmakers on capitol hill are taking a fresh look at
the housing crisis. right now the house financial services committee is holding a hearing on the soaring foreclosure numbers and the efforts by government to help people stay in their homes. we heard from president obama, the warning that if banks did not make their modifications permanent, there was going to be big trouble. what can government do? >> well, that's what this hearing is all about. it's about the government's home available modification program, a partnership between the governments and the banks to get borrowers into modifications to make lower monthly payments. the problem is you start with a three-month trial period and during that trial period, you have to make each payment in full and you have to get all your documentation in. that is your proof of income and your irs forms and all the things you would generally need for a mortgage. what the banks are now reporting is that they have hundreds of thousands of people who are getting into these modifications but the ones scheduled to get to the first three-month trial
period ends december 31st, bank of america says two-thirds of those folks have made their payments but they're not submitting the required documentation. now the borrowers might say, well, the banks aren't getting my faxes, mixing up my paperwork. the fact is a very large majori majority, they are actually not making the full payments, almost a third of their borrowers in the trial modifications are not making payments. the problem is a lot of folks have lost their jobs. they can't make the payments and other borrowers are saying i have no equity in my home. i'm not going to see any value increase anytime soon and they're decide to go walk away. so the government can get on the banks' case and say, look, you have to show more accountability, more transparency. you have to get these trial modifications made permanent but the problem is what are they going to do about the borrowers who are not submitting paperwork and who can't pay that modification? >> all right. we'll be looking at that. by the way this afternoon on it's the economy at 2:00 p.m.,
we are interviewing a guy putting forth the legal arguments about why people can walk away from their mortgages without legal repercussions so we'll get into that this afternoon on "it's the economy." queen elizabeth goes gaga over, you know her, lady gaga. the british monarch met the pop star at a variety show in england last night and the flamboyant singer wore a red leather outfit. i mean, in all honesty, this is rather reserved for lady gaga but not exactly the attire queen elizabeth is accustomed to seeing. she apparently enjoyed the meeting. there you see it, big grin right on her face. oh, this is who the kids are talking about these days. ♪ poker face oh, my, authorities arrested a malaysian woman after they found a baby honey bear, be a leopard cat in her condo. the endangered species were being kept as pets because the
cage for the animals was equipped with wings. both could be charged for keeping endangered wildlife without a permit. still ahead ted kennedy was known as the lion of the senate. today massachusetts voters head to the polls to pick the candidates who will square off to replace the late senator. the honey-baked bunches! the magic's in the mix. my favorite part? eating it. honey bunches of oats. taste the joy we put in every spoonful. honey bunches of oats. we call the bunches in honey bunches of oats the prize in the box. well, now there's a prize inside the prize. pecans! pecans! baked into crunchy oat bunches. taste the delicious surprise in every spoonful. new honey bunches of oats with pecan bunches. beautiful. headaches know when you're stressed. tired. running on empty. to relieve headaches doctors recommend tylenol...
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the senate primary is under way and for the first time in nearly 50 years they don't have the option of picking a kennedy. kelly o'donnell is in boston today. who do they have the option of picking, kelly? >> reporter: good morning, this is a rite of passage for voters from massachusetts. there are four democrats and two republicans vying for what was known as the kennedy seat here in massachusetts and of those four democrats, because this state is weighted heavily
democratic so there's expectation a democratic will exceed kennedy, be martha coakley, the former state's attorney general, and you may remember her. she gained national prominence about a dozen years ago with the louise woodward baby shaking syndrome. she was a prosecutor in the state. she is leading in the polls, has very high name recognition, also a congressman who represents the district once held by president john kennedy, that's michael capuano, and then two businessmen who are also in this race. less well known, not doing as well in the polls, steve, a co-owner of the boston celtics, and allen khazei, part of the group on which americorp was founded. and there's high profile in this. really all of these candidates have invoked the memory of edward kennedy. some have used it in their ads, many have used his message and legacy when they've been stumping for votes. and because this is a special
election, contessa, they're concerned that voter turnout may be low it may be a relatively small number who make this decision but it is a very big day in massachusetts. contessa? >> kelly, thank you very much for the update from massachusetts. and that wraps up this hour for me. tamron hall next. tiger woods, the woman rushed from his florida home. went to the hospital early this morning. we'll have a live report from florida. plus, president obama will soon outline his plan to get americans back to work. he's speaking in less than hatch an hour. msnbc will take that speech in full so you want to stay tuned for that special coverage, how to put americans back on the job when unemployment now stands at 10%.
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rushed to the hospital early this morning. let's listen in. >> mental health experts? >> i can't comment to that. >> she is still being held in the emergency room area? >> no, she's been admitted. >> she's in a private room? >> correct. >> can you pronounce her name? >> barbroholmberg. >> you don't believe this is a life threatening -- >> no. >> where is she visiting from? >> sweden. honestly i don't know. >> elin -- >> i have not had contact with her this morning. i honestly don't know. >> has she been here? >> i can't make comment to that. >> so you're working with their attorneys or who are you -- >> with family in general and publicists and everyone who